We Care impacts the lives of over 1000 families a year. Here are a few of their stories:
Betty is a widow in her early 60's, whose husband had handled all their finances until he passed away a few months earlier. Betty came to our office, beside herself with fear and worry. She had just received a call from her mortgage company saying she would lose her house if she didn't make her payments. On top of that, she had found several utility bills that she didn't realize were unpaid. She was frantic but said she'd appreciate anything we could do to help.
Our staff called the Area Agency on Aging and Senior Services to assist her with her mortgage. Then we set her up with the Department of Health and Human Services to help with her utility bills. A volunteer set Betty up with an automatic payment plan so she would never be late again, food from the pantry and personal care products to take some of the financial burden off her for a little while.
Through the coordination efforts of our volunteers and staff, her utility bills were paid through DHHS, St. Vincent dePaul and We Care! Betty was ecstatic and burst into tears with relief. Later that week we received a card saying that we had changed her life. Just knowing that someone cared enough to walk with her through this situation, gave her the hope to go on living after the death of her spouse for 45 years.
MARIA AND FAMILY.
Maria called South Haven Area Emergency Services because she was sleeping in her car with three kids and needed shelter, food and clothing. She also needed stable housing before school started. SHAES called me looking for assistance. We Care staff talked with Maria in depth about her situation to figure out the best plan forward. She then came into the office the next day, where we were able to get acquainted with her and assist her in getting the resources she needed - our staff gave her housing options, coordinated with partner agencies, and made phone calls on her behalf. Maria received support and help she could not have gotten any where else. Three months later, she called to let us know she had gotten the job we told her about, they had moved into apartment we referred her to, and her kids were starting school with clothes and supplies she had gotten through our partners. She said everyone she called before us either said they couldn't help, or didn't answer; we were the first place that not only answered the phone, but took the time to talk with her and help in such a compassionate way.